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My To-Go Art Supplies and Sources of Inspiration

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

If you are a beginner in acrylic painting or have never painted before, one of the first questions is what kind of art materials to consider.


At the beginning of my journey, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on paints, but I also knew that if you don't spend a lot of money on art materials, the quality often can't be good.


Here is a small To-Go list of art supplies I use to create my works and find my inspiration.


My to-go art materials for standard acrylic paints

My to-go art materials for the standard acrylic paint is my favourite brand Amsterdam Royal Talens because of the bright colours, their opacity and their consistency. I also use Pebeo, Liquitex Basic, Winsor&Newton Galeria and Lukas CrylStudio.


Small insight on my acrylics

As a beginner, Arteza acrylic paints are the cheaper alternative and I chose the set of 60 colours (60ml) for 2 main reasons:

  • A good price/performance ratio.

  • The colour palette, as you can also find some MICA and neon colours.


Arteza Acrylic Paints - Set 60


The colours from Arteza are highly pigmented, have good coverage but for larger artworks the 60ml tube is a very small amount. Larger formats would be available on Arteza's website, but lately it is very difficult to buy them on amazon (main distributor in Europe).


After that I tried a very cheap acrylic paint (250ml tube for only € 2,00 - € 3,00), the pouring medium (500ml for € 2,99) and some canvases 30x24 and 30x40 that I found at (Action).


The acrylic paints from Action (my local non-food discounter) are very good value for money (250ml under € 3.00) and surprisingly have good coverage as they are very pigmented. For this reason, they were my very first art materials and are still among my main colours.


Acrzylic paints by Van Bleiswijk (Action)

My very first colours were:

  • Titanium White

  • Primary yellow

  • Bright red

  • Magenta

  • Turquoise

  • Primary blue

  • Black

  • Metallic Gold


The only downside is that there is no information on the label about the pigments contained, their opacity/transparency or lightfastness, so I had to make a chart to test their behaviour.


My to-go art materials for special effects

Pearl (or interference) colours by Amsterdam Acrylics

Other colours that cannot be missing in my collection are the pearl colours by Amsterdam Acrylics, which are white in the tube but become a different colour as soon as they are dry. To test them, I bought the pack of 6 tubes of 22 ml each in the colours silver, blue, green, yellow, pink and violet.

Pearl Colours by Amsterdam Acrylics - Set 6

To test how strong the effect is, I took a piece of watercolour paper, drew some squares on it with dark Sharpie markers and applied the pearl colours on it. After drying, the effect was stronger and I didn't need to use a large amount to achieve the colour change.


Swatches pearl colours Amsterdam Acrylics

I also tested these colours for a Dutch pour and a small pour and also in this case I got a wonderful and bright colour change.

My artwork "Abyss" done with pearl acylics

DYNA acrylic paints by Pebeo

These colours can make the magic in my paintings. They have a thick consistency and when they dry they can change colour depending on the angle of view.


DYNA acrylics by Pebeo

How I choose my acrylic paints

I buy my paints according to the pigments they contain by looking at the tubes or colour cards of each brand before buying and only buying the paints with the pigments I don't already have.

For example, I have 2 Prussian blues from 2 different brands, but one contains a black pigment and the other contains both a yellow and a purple pigment. This way I can have different shades for the same colour.

Conversely, if I need a colour, I am not forced to buy the same brand. It is only important that the replacement colour contains the same pigment(s).


Other To-Go art supplies for canvases and media

Pouring Medium

Pouring Medium Van Bleiswijck (Action)

Action's Pouring Medium was a wonderful discovery for many reasons.

  • Price: each bottle of 500ml costs only € 2,99

  • Cells formation: even without adding drops of silicone oil to the colours you can get small cells after using the torch or the hairdryer

  • Compatibility: you can also use it with colours from other brands like Arteza or Amsterdam.

  • After drying, it gives the painting a plastic and smooth look without changing the colours

  • Easy to use: you can add it until you reach the consistency you want.


I have also tried the Liquitex pouring medium, which is more expensive, but I still struggle to understand how to use it and achieve optimal results.


Canvas

I would like to donate a few words about canvases.

I am aware of the fact that the higher the price, the higher the quality of the material used to make the canvases. But also in this case I didn't want to waste too much money and tried the canvases from Action. They are certainly a very good and cheap alternative to the professional canvases (for example € 1,50 for 30cm x 24cm and € 2,00 for 30cm x 40cm) to get started. Other canvases in the same price range are the ones from Woolworth and Kik.


(Distilled) water

Many artists use water either mixed with the pouring medium or alone as a pouring medium (e.g. Rinske Douna or MollysArtistry) to dilute the acrylic paints.

When choosing water, it is recommended to use distilled water instead of tap water to avoid mould in the paints, especially if the paints dry slowly or are stored for a long time (usually the paints can only be stored for a few weeks in well-sealed containers).


Hairdryer (for the Dutch Pour technique)

Most Dutch Pour artists on YouTube come from the USA and Canada and use the Flower Travel Hairdryer by Drew Barrymore (https://www.amazon.com/Flower-Beauty-Ionic-Travel-Dryer/dp/B09P8W4VBR ). Unfortunately it is not available in Europe. As a substitute, I'm afraid I can't give you an exact model. I am still struggling to find a model that performs similarly.


My to-go sources of inspiration

Colour palette inspirations


Recommended YouTube channels


These are my suggestions to get started. As soon as I find art materials that might be interesting, or channels worth following or watching, I will add them to this list.


Thank you for reading. If you like the post, feel free to leave a like, a comment and don’t forget to follow my blog, my Instagram and share the content on your social media.


Have a colourful and creative day!


Laura






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